Losses for Finance, Health-Care Companies Send Stocks Lower


U.S. stocks slumped Friday as financial and health-care companies moved lower. Industrial companies rose as stocks continued the up-and-down pattern they’ve been stuck in for the last month.

Stocks slumped in morning trading as banks fell in tandem with bond yields and interest rates and energy companies sank with oil prices.

Strong results from Honeywell and aviation electronics maker Rockwell Collins helped industrial firms. Toy maker Mattel plunged after it reported its second disappointing quarter in a row. Stocks climbed in the final minutes of trading and left the Standard & Poor’s 500 index 1 percent higher for the week.

The S&P’s 500 index lost 7.15 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,348.69. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 30.95 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,547.76. The Nasdaq composite fell 6.26 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,910.52. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 4.30 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,379.85.

Financial companies fell. Marsh & McLennan skidded $1.41, or 1.9 percent, to $71.88 and Morgan Stanley dipped 70 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $41.80. Bank of America fell 36 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $22.7.

Bond prices rose early on but wound up little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.24 percent.

Health-care companies moved lower. Biotech drugmaker Alexion Pharmaceuticals lost $1.90, or 1.6 percent, to $116.82 and Merck declined 66 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $61.89. Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts dipped 59 cents to $66.46.

Next Friday the government will release its report on first-quarter GDP growth, something investors pay a lot of attention to. On the same day, the federal government is scheduled to reach its borrowing limit, which could trigger a government shutdown unless Congress agrees to extend it.

Benchmark U.S. crude shed $1.09, or 2.1 percent, to $49.62 a barrel in N.Y. Brent crude fell $1.03, or 1.9 percent, to $51.96 a barrel in London.

Schlumberger fell after it reported less revenue than analysts had forecast. The stock gave up $1.67, or 2.2 percent, to $74.84 and competitors Halliburton and Baker Hughes both fell, too.

Honeywell’s profit and sales were better than expected, and the industrial conglomerate raised its profit projection for the year. The stock jumped $3.31, or 2.7 percent, to $127.08. Aviation electronics company Rockwell Collins raised its profit and sales forecasts after its $8.6 billion purchase of former competitor B/E Aerospace. Its stock rose $5.11, or 5.1 percent, to $104.70.

Wholesale gasoline lost 3 cents to $1.64 a gallon and heating oil fell 3 cents to $1.55 a gallon. Natural gas gave up 6 cents to $3.10 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $5.30 to $1,289.10 an ounce. Silver lost 16 cents to $17.86 an ounce. Copper remained at $2.54 a pound.

The dollar dipped to 109.21 yen from 109.31 yen. The euro fell to $1.0695 from $1.0722.

France’s CAC-40 retreated 0.4 percent after a big gain Thursday. Germany’s DAX gained 0.2 percent and the British FTSE 100 lost 0.1 percent. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained just over 1 percent and the Kospi in South Korea added 0.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.1 percent.